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xGunners: It’s time to drop Alexandre Lacazette

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Lacazette is in poor form and playing him causes other compromises that hurt Arsenal.

Arsenal FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Visionhaus

Let me preface this whole article with this: Alexandre Lacazette is a good player. He is easily among the 11 best players at Arsenal right now and I enjoy watching him play.

Getting that out of the way, I firmly believe that he should no longer be starting for Arsenal and if we need to sell a striker to raise fund for another position of need, I think that he is the player to sacrifice.

The problem with Lacazette is that even though he is one of Arsenal’s best players and one of only a few true goal threats in the team he plays in a position where Arsenal have a better option in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The two players seem to be great friends and they do seem to enjoy playing together. However when they are on the field together it isn’t a classic striker partnership and too often it forces Aubameyang into wide areas where his world class talents are wasted.

There is also the uncomfortable fact that Lacazette hasn’t been especially good when he has played this year. He does have 5 goals for Arsenal but that masks and overall fairly mediocre stat line for such an important player.

This really isn’t that good and it makes me sad

A slump in form is understandable but when it coincides with forcing another compromise to weaken the team with moving the teams best striker out wide it is something that cannot continue as Arsenal’s first choice. The stats show that even with as bad as Arsenal have been, they have been slightly worse with Lacazette on the field.

Playing Time Table
Play Play Play Team Team Team Team Team Team Team Team Team
Player Min Min% 90s PPM onG onGA +/- +/-90 onxG onxGA xG+/-
xG+/-90
Shkodran Mustafi 736 35.0 8.2 1.75 24 12 +12 +1.47 14.3 6.5 +7.8 +1.34
Calum Chambers 1,170 55.7 13.0 1.65 24 14 +10 +0.77 20.9 13.6 +7.2 +0.60
Emiliano Martínez 660 31.4 7.3 1.86 22 10 +12 +1.64 12.1 5.2 +6.9 +1.37
Martinelli 726 34.6 8.1 1.57 23 12 +11 +1.36 12.0 6.5 +5.5 +0.96
Lucas Torreira 1,096 52.2 12.2 1.55 31 18 +13 +1.07 21.2 16.4 +4.9 +0.47
Dani Ceballos 938 44.7 10.4 1.77 22 11 +11 +1.06 16.7 11.9 +4.9 +0.50
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 1,631 86.3 18.1 1.48 28 26 +2 +0.11 30.6 27.0 +3.6 +0.20
Bukayo Saka 766 36.5 8.5 1.42 15 11 +4 +0.47 10.4 6.8 +3.5 +0.53
Granit Xhaka 1,188 62.9 13.2 1.43 21 20 +1 +0.08 23.0 19.5 +3.5 +0.26
Kieran Tierney 773 36.8 8.6 1.45 17 12 +5 +0.58 12.9 9.9 +3.0 +0.41
Rob Holding 557 26.5 6.2 1.67 18 10 +8 +1.29 7.4 4.5 +2.9 +0.74
Sead Kolašinac 1,053 50.1 11.7 1.40 21 18 +3 +0.26 19.2 16.3 +2.9 +0.27
Mattéo Guendouzi 1,436 68.4 16.0 1.45 25 24 +1 +0.06 24.1 21.5 +2.5 +0.17
Joe Willock 1,054 50.2 11.7 1.52 25 18 +7 +0.60 15.7 13.3 +2.4 +0.26
Héctor Bellerín 576 27.4 6.4 1.43 16 13 +3 +0.47 9.3 7.3 +2.0 +0.41
Reiss Nelson 322 15.3 3.6 2.43 11 2 +9 +2.52 5.0 3.1 +1.9 +0.75
Nicolas Pépé 1,079 51.4 12.0 1.67 23 17 +6 +0.50 20.8 19.1 +1.7 +0.14
Ainsley Maitland-Niles 911 43.4 10.1 2.00 24 18 +6 +0.59 14.1 12.5 +1.6 +0.18
Emile Smith-Rowe 195 29.5 2.2 3.00 5 2 +3 +1.38 4.1 2.6 +1.5 +0.90
Henrikh Mkhitaryan 111 7.7 1.2 1.33 2 0 +2 +1.62 1.9 0.4 +1.4 +1.15
David Luiz 1,381 73.1 15.3 1.19 23 23 0 0.00 25.3 25.6 -0.3 -0.02
Sokratis Papastathopoulos 1,440 68.6 16.0 1.38 24 23 +1 +0.06 23.0 23.4 -0.4 -0.03
Bernd Leno 1,440 76.2 16.0 1.38 24 24 0 0.00 23.9 24.7 -0.8 -0.05
Nacho Monreal 270 18.8 3.0 2.00 4 4 0 0.00 2.9 3.8 -0.9 -0.31
Mesut Özil 776 37.0 8.6 1.00 17 16 +1 +0.12 10.3 11.6 -1.3 -0.18
Alexandre Lacazette 765 36.4 8.5 1.00 14 15 -1 -0.12 12.9 15.3 -2.4 -0.28
Provided by FBref.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/12/2019.

Arsenal are coming into the festive period where rotation will be necessary so he will still be badly needed. I just hope that Freddie Ljungberg (or whoever is head coach) has the guts to make the tough call and choose a balanced team with only one of Arsenal’s two main strikers going forward.